Ryan T. Anderson on the Overview of the Traditional Marriage Position

Ryan T. Anderson is the William E. Simon Fellow in Religion and a Free Society of the Heritage Foundation and co-author of What is Marriage? Man and Woman: A Defense. He is also the editor of The Public Discourse,

an online publication of the Witherspoon Institute that seeks to enhance the public understanding of the moral foundations of free societies by making the scholarship of the fellows and affiliated scholars of the Institute available and accessible to a general audience. [1]

Here is Anderson’s analysis of three essential questions in the debate regarding same-sex marriage:

  • (1) What is marriage?
  • (2) What does marriage matter for public policy?
  • (3) What are the consequences of redefining marriage?

Anderson has recently written that “[t]he Left deploys empty slogans – ‘marriage equality’ – without ever saying what marriage is or why marriage matters, and then tells moving stories about same-sex couples who just want to love each other and have the same ‘rights’ as anyone else” [2].

Thus, and a demonstration of Anderson’s point: “[a]llowing gay couples to marry [ … ] weakens the power of marriage as a coercive force for procreating couples. And gays can secure the rights they need, such as hospital visitations and inheritance issues, through other changes in the law” [3].

Anderson has often been cited with his phrase: “If the law redefines marriage to say that fathers are optional, then it’s hard to make the argument that fathers are essential” [4].



  • [1] http://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/
  • [2] Ryan T. Anderson, The Left’s Three Techniques on Marriage Redefinition – And How To Counter Them (The Blaze: 2013) see the article here.
  • [3]  Quoted from Alan Greenblat, The Other Case Against Gay Marriage (NPR: 2013) see the article here.
  • [4] Ibid.

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